Story at a glance

  • June is traditionally celebrated as Pride Month ahead of the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots.
  • To mark the occasion, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers signed several executive orders instituting LGBTQ+ affirming policies.
  • The move comes as other states are enacting restrictions on LGBTQ+ rights, especially targeting trans youth.

On the first day of Pride Month, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) took swift action to support the LGBTQ+ community not just symbolically, but by ending the payment of taxpayer money towards conversion therapy for minors. 

The move follows opposition from medical associations and professional organizations to the practice of conversion therapy, which can contribute to higher risks of depression and suicide for LGBTQ+ youth. Still, it falls short of banning the practice entirely, as 20 other states and the District of Columbia have done, after Wisconsin Republicans stopped the legislation earlier this year. 


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“In addition to celebrating the resiliency and joy of the LGBTQ community, Pride also offers an opportunity for us to reflect on how the state and our communities can be better allies,” said Gov. Evers in a statement. “These executive orders today recognize the work we have to do as a state to protect, support, and celebrate all LGBTQ Wisconsinites, especially our kids, and ensure our state is a safe, inclusive, and just place where every person has the resources and support to thrive.” 

The governor signed three executive orders: one raising the rainbow pride flag over the Wisconsin State Capitol, a second requiring the executive branch to use gender-neutral language whenever practicable and a third banning payment of state and federal funds towards conversion therapy for minors. 

The bill is one of a handful that go against the grain of recent legislation from state governments across the country that have targeted LGBTQ_ youth, especially transgender and gender-nonconforming children. Research shows that gender-affirming care, including puberty blockers and other medical treatment recently banned by Alabama, could save the lives of trans teens, who are increasingly at higher risk for suicide than their cisgender peers. 


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Published on Jun 04, 2021